Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A long overdue introduction and some other shit.

The Top Chef Finale is tonight. This show is by far my favorite show on television for several reasons. The obvious is that it is about food and food is my happy place. But, it is more than that. This show highlights up and coming chefs and their food. Yes, their personalities are a part of it. But, I love the zany challenges and the competitive cooking. I don't know. I just love it. I seriously watch the episodes 5 or 6 times. And now that the finale is on, I will probably have a marathon from the beginning sometime this weekend.

Also, if Paul doesn't win, I may break my TV. Because things will be thrown. Swear words yelled. And wine consumed.


The weather has been fucked this winter. It was SEVENTY MOTHER FUCKING DEGREES TODAY. Just. No. I loved it. It was a beautiful day. But, tornadoes in February? Devastating tornadoes. Blizzards in Utah. I am literally sitting here with the back door wide open in shorts and a T-shirt. Yes, I love the mild winter. But, I just fear what it means for March. Or just the planet in general. Or the summer. Because, you know, ONE HUNDRED DEGREES IN THE KITCHEN TODAY. And it was only 70 outside.

Also, I found out Snookie is pregnant and due December 21st. I am pretty sure all signs lead to the world ending.


I need to introduce someone to this blog because it occurred to us tonight that you guys don't know who he/they are. We are going to call him Pocket Pen (he always has a pen in his pocket) and her Cupcake. They are our closest "couple" friends - the go to double date. Also, they are awesome and I am ashamed I have not told more stories about them here. THE SHAME. 

So, the boy hates seafood. Won't touch it, hates if I even cook it in the house. When the trip to Vegas came up, PP suggested that the two of us get together and eat some seafood because Cupcake is in Vegas with him. The boy, PP, and Cupcake are all coworkers. So, since PP and I were single for the week...we had dinner. 

He is also a pretty awesome food photographer as evidenced by these photos he took of my dinner. I made grilled Mahi Mahi with ponzu sticky rice, grilled zucchini, and a spicy coconut lemongrass sauce.

Good food, good company. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Assholes, Boxed Wine, Interventions, and that time when everything comes to an end.

  1. I cannot stand people being mean for the sake of being mean. Or just being plain fucking rude. Someone asked me a genuine food question on Facebook, which I answered. Then a family member (by marriage) made a really smart ass comment basically calling this guy and idiot and me a weak American. Or some shit. The whole thing just pissed me off. Culinary curiosity makes me giddy. Please. Ask me the stupidest question you can think of. I will ALWAYS answer it and I will always be thrilled to do so. I mean that. Email me. Seriously. I want to help. And if I don't know the answer, I know someone who does. 
  2. I think I have to quit new, new job. All the problems I have been having with that coworker have escalated to a point that I am not sure I can continue having him in my life. I refuse to be that person that says "it's me or him." So, I am choosing to walk away from the situation. There are legitimate reasons to fire him and the few people I have been open with about this are pursuing those options. Which also makes me feel like shit. But, he cannot be in my life anymore. End of story. And if that means leaving a job I love, well, then that is what it means.
  3. I met a guy who owns a local sustainable creamery tonight. Who is also running for congress against a man I hate. He was bat shit crazy, but I would still vote for him. I gave him the contact info for new, new job and hopefully we will start using his products. That would be amazing. Also, I just really want to see the conversation between his crazy and the owner's crazy. This shit should be on YouTube.
  4. I have a problem. My name is Erratic and I am addicted to food blogs. I currently have 126 unread blogs in my "food" category. It was at zero yesterday. I can't keep up. I need an assistant to read food blogs for me then just send me what is relevant. I pay in home cooked meals and awkward gratitude. Who is in? I promise not to hug you. Or to hug you if that is your thing...but it will be brief and uncomfortable. As per the usual.
  5. At my house, if you use the bathroom, there is going to be a cat joining you. And he is going to want you to pet him while you do your business. However, since the boy has been in Vegas, Short Dog has joined in the fun. So, I now get the joy of peeing with a dog's head on my lap and a cat purring and shoving his butt at me for scratching. The dog is whining. The cat is meowing. Thankfully I find this peaceful. (No I don't.)
  6. I have a confession to make. I drink boxed wine. You should too. I admit, that the giant hippie in me originally bought it because it is a sustainable product. The wino in me continues to buy it because their Old Vine Zinfandel is pretty fucking decent. I am not going to say that it changed my life, but for the price, it's good. And it doesn't hurt that it is sustainable.
  7. I was going to start running this week and didn't. Blah. It would require me to run, come home, get the dog of short stature, then take him for a walk. I realize this makes me a lazy ass hole. My size 12's are starting to get tight...and that is the biggest size I have ever worn. I am not sure why I am all of a sudden gaining a bunch of weight but I am. The only changes I have made is the quitting soda thing and walking 1.5 miles a day. I feel like the opposite should be happening. I am so confused. I was skinnier when I drank soda and didn't exercise. Maybe I am existing in bizzaro world. In which case, somebody get me a cheeseburger. I'm on a diet.
  8. Does anybody else watch Intervention? Does anybody else think that the woman interventionist is a puppet made of elephant hide? Is anyone else terrified of her? If she showed up and tried to "Intervention" me, I would do whatever she said. "Yes, I am a heroin addict. Yes, I use it daily. Yes, I will go to rehab. Please don't re-purpose my skin for you face."
  9. I don't want a new job because I don't want to work nights. Wah.
  10. A quote that inspired me...and NO I didn't get it off pinterest. (I totally got it off pinterest.) I also think it is very fitting with what is going on right now..."When people walk away from you, let them go. Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you and it doesn't mean they are bad people. It just means that their part in your story is over." Word.

Monday, February 27, 2012

I would like to dedicate this post to all the dead hookers out there.

The boy is in Vegas for six days for work. Some of you might think this post is going to be about how this is the longest we have ever been apart. Because, that is true. But, it's not. Some of you  may think that this is about how much I miss him. Because that is also true. But, it's not.

It's about how the only rule I gave him when he left was that I would leave him if he woke up in the morning lying next to a dead hooker and a pile of blow. 

The thing that makes us work is that we don't have a lot of rules. We trust each other, explicitly. That was something both of us made very clear from the beginning. We know the rules. And we both follow them. Yes, there have been some times over the years that the trust has been tested. But, in the end, I know he would never do anything to betray me. Nor would I, him. 

So, having said that...

Reasons I am LOVING being home alone this week:

  1. I don't have to pretend like I don't talk to myself constantly. I actually caught myself mumbling something, then shouted, "SHORT DOG, I DON'T HAVE TO WHISPER. IT'S JUST ME." Fuck, I am crazy.
  2. I don't have to cook. I can eat popcorn and a salad and there is nobody here to say otherwise. The boy doesn't require that I cook, but when he is home, I feel like a formal, family meal needs to happen. If formal means TV trays and watching Big Bang Theory.
  3. The bed to myself. I realize that there are people out there that are like, I can't sleep without you. I am not that person. I want the whole bed. There may or may not be a full scale cover war going on over here.
Reasons I HATE being home alone this week:
  1. I hate being responsible for everything. It is like being single again. I like having a partner to shoulder the bullshit. Like the morning pet feedings. Now I need to allow myself more than 15 minutes to shower and get out the door.
  2. Having someone to talk to. It has been almost 3 years since I have been alone in this house for more than one night. Granted, it has still not been one night. Just is odd. The animals are all upset and it is just...quiet. 
  3. That safe feeling. It's nice to just trust that if something goes wrong, there is someone else there to help. 
In summary; don't kill a hooker when high on blow, THE COVERS ARE MINE, and the boy is pretty awesome.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Where you all hate me...but hate HFCS more! Or just me. But not me. Begging is not attractive. Not me!

I have been trying to make some pretty huge lifestyle changes lately. Mostly, trying to practice what I preach. Because, fuck, I am preachy.

Around the new year, probably closer to Christmas, the boy and I both gave up soda. We stopped buying it first. Then we stopped ordering it when out. Then we both just gave it up all together. I often bitch about the horror of high fructose corn syrup. Not really on here because I try oh so hard to not alienate all of you with my radical food ways.

But. I want to talk about this. Soda was the last thing that I consume on a regular basis with high fructose corn syrup in it. And I fully expected the typical reaction (the one the boy had)...weight loss. Nope. Didn't happen. A lot of that had to do with the steroids and my bodies love for it's fat roll. A lot of it had to do with me not introducing a workout program yet.

So, I quit high fructose corn syrup...and, really, processed sugar in general. Which meant mostly soda, except for ketchup and mustard (did you know that? Me either. Only stone ground mustard here. Still looking for organic ketchup.) 

We were a soda house. Mountain Dew, Vernors (I still miss you, my dear), Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, you name it. We drank it. Cold Turkey. Done. I was a 1 - 3 cans a day drinker. The boy was higher, though I am not sure by how much.

On SuperBowl Sunday, I got a 20 oz Dr. Pepper. I drank 1/3 of it and poured the rest out. I couldn't even stomach it.

I drink a cup of English Breakfast tea every morning and nothing but water now. I am not counting alcohol here. I mean, of course. That doesn't count, right?

Strange things have happened. I definitely went through withdrawal. I was crabby and tired and my muscles ached. I still am having problems with my muscles aching. I used to have heart burn/ nausea almost daily. It happens maybe once a week now. My hair isn't falling out. I used to pull out handfuls in the shower, even more when I combed it after my shower. Today was the first day (almost 2 months later) where literally no hair came out when I combed it. I lost some in the shower, but still. I was pulling out HANDFULS. And I was taking all the vitamins and shit everyone says to take. My hair is thicker now.

My nails are growing way faster (I only notice this because I keep them cut nail-biter short so food doesn't get caught under them.) I have to trim them twice a week.

I have a lot more energy. I am sleeping a lot less, which sucks. But, I require a lot less sleep too.

It blows my mind that THIS change could create THESE changes. I always blamed my stomach issues on all of the ibuprofen and pain killers I took through the years of dealing with my back problems. 

I always thought the hair loss, was, I don't know...something else. 

My nails have always grown kind of fast, but this is unreal. 

And I realize that the last two things are pregnancy things and I am going to be honest, my brain went there first. But, no. The only change has been giving up soda. 

I am exercising more, though not back to running. I am walking 4 - 5 days a week about a mile and a half. I am stretching all the time trying to get back to running. I miss running. I used to be a runner before all this back shit and the doctors told me I couldn't. 

We ate out three times this week. But, tonight I made root vegetable "pasta" with lentils and homemade Italian Sausage. (there is a demo video I made for Big Jed. It may end up being shown here. Did you know how easy it was to make sausage? I will soon, maybe, show you.)

Big Jed and I hope to run a 5K in May. I am having a nervous breakdown about how close that is, but I want to do it. I really, really do. 

It is hard to change, but I feel like I am doing it the way I need to. I am not dieting. I am not trying some radical new workout program. I always fail at those (Zumba, for example.) I need to set really small goals and reach them and work from there. 

I don't have a whole lot of weight to goal is 30 lbs. 40 would be awesome...but 30 lbs is my goal. If I lose 20 lbs I will be happy. I just love the changes that are sticking. The choices I am making. I am really happy with what I have done so far.

So, if just one person reads this and eats more whole foods and goes for a walk, I will be happy. I am happy that I did just that. Maybe I am not losing weight, but I feel good. I feel healthy. I will get there. 

But, fucking fuck. High Fructose Corn Syrup. Just. Stop. Please? Pretty Please? I love you all so much. 

Gah. Preachy. Please?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Punching children is illegal. Probably.

This article made me think about things that make me crazy in restaurants. Kids aren't really one of them. Unless they are a screaming nightmare, but that goes for the grocery store and the gas station and everywhere. Is there anyone who LOVES the sound of screaming, poorly behaved children? Because it makes me want to punch children. And that is illegal.

So, here is my list of shit that DRIVES ME CRAZY from behind the scenes. Just for funsies.

  1. Special orders. It is one thing to say no onion on the burger. But, we serve a pulled pork burrito and have a guy that comes in once a week and gets it with salmon instead of pork. Dude. No. Order off the menu, don't make up your own shit. We put a lot of thought into this menu.
  2. Large groups of women. I know. I am a woman. But, let me just tell you those checks are the WORST checks we get. All special orders, all sauces on the side, and the server is PISSED the whole time. And generally get a shitty tip. 
  3. People who say they have allergies when they don't. If you don't like onion, please just tell us that. We will not put onion in your food. But, if you are actually allergic to it, this requires A TON of work on our part to make sure you don't get sick. If an allergy comes in, I clean every work surface, change gloves, change out bowls, tongs, serving utensils, everything. Pretty please just tell me you hate onions.
  4. Ordering off the lunch menu at dinner and the dinner menu at lunch. The line is stocked for that particular meal. Please don't order shit that we aren't ready for. ESPECIALLY if it is busy. Running around trying to pull that shit together during a rush pretty much ends in all of the customers in the dining room being affected. 
  5. Large groups that don't call ahead. If you have twenty of your closest friends meet you at a restaurant, call. We will have a table set up. We will have enough food prepped. If all of a sudden twenty people show up and they all want the same thing, we probably won't have enough food to make it. This only applies to small restaurants, but still. Be courteous. Just think...would you want them to call ahead if it was your house? Then call ahead. Even if the place doesn't take reservations.
And on the flip side, here is my list of shit that DRIVES ME CRAZY when eating out.
  1. A server who doesn't know shit about the wine list. I know more about wine that your average citizen and I am still intimidated by large wine lists. If I have the wine list out and I ask for suggestions, please know what the fuck you are talking about. It is your JOB.
  2. Being rushed. I typically order multiple courses when I eat out. If I am still eating the previous one and you bring me food, I am going to be pissed. PISSED. I am not rude, so I won't say anything, but on the inside, I will be pinching your head. 
  3. An empty drink or water. I am very understanding if it is busy and you are slammed. But if it happens all night, I am going to be upset. And probably tip less. Which will still be 20% because I work in kitchens and hear all day about how tipping should start at 20% and go from there. I GET IT. I TIP WELL. STOP LECTURING ME. 
  4. When I ask the server what is good and they are flippant about it. I am asking what you eat before your shift. I am asking because I want a delicious meal and the server knows what is good. They eat the food. And if they don't eat the food? Well, I don't really want to eat there.
  5. When the tables are too close together and you find yourself sharing your meal with the tables on either side of you. I get that this is very New York City and Chicago. Awesome. I am not in either of those cities. And I would like to be able to mock people from a comfortable distance. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It wasn't because I cut off my finger this time!

I got a text message today around 2:00 pm. The boy needed to go to the emergency room. His boss dropped a magazine holder on his head from two stories up. They were carrying the magazines from the third to first floor and he dropped it in the stairwell. So, I drove the few miles from the restaurant to his work and took him to the emergency room.

This hospital is downtown. So, there is a little bit of everything coming into the ER. Homeless people, hookers, drug addicts, business professionals, people who live in the area. You get the point. It gave me a great opportunity to catch up on Scramble with Friends and Family Feud. Because I am addicted to cell phone games. 

During our TWO AND A HALF HOUR VISIT we witnessed the following:

  • One homeless man advising another homeless man to stop carrying a knife because mace was better. "You just spray his face man. Then you kick the shit outta him. I tell my girls this all the time. You don't need no knife."
  • A man who I believe to be a drug addict of some kind...I am not sure. But, he was wearing pajamas and begging us to use our phone. The boy didn't have service, so I just jumped on that band wagon and said I did not either. I didn't need my iPhone stolen at the ER. I realize that was kind of a dick move. I did it anyway. I would hesitate to let someone I know use my phone. Those fuckers are expensive.
  • A man coughing SO MUCH I resorted to hiding in my jacket. COVER. YOUR. MOUTH. DUDE.
  • The man then followed us back to the exam rooms. I started referring to him as patient zero.
  • While the boy went to get his CAT Scan, I went back out to the lobby where the guy, again, begged me to use my phone. He had NO idea that we had spoken earlier.
  • I got escorted to the boy's new room with a hooker. And a guy who said he only smoked crack "when he could get his hands on it." In response to the question "do you smoke tobacco?"
The boy is fine. He has a mild concussion, a wicked headache, and a boo boo from his tetanus shot. 

On the way back out to the parking garage, we were discussing what floor we were on. There was a woman in the elevator with us and I sort of chuckled and told her that we would be wandering around for an hour. The boy said, "All I know is that we parked in the g-spot." The woman lost it, I explained that he had a head wound and couldn't be held responsible for his actions. He continued to say, "What? Look, there is a G right there. The g-spot."

Maybe I should take him back and have the doctor take another look at the CAT Scan.

Monday, February 20, 2012

That time I actually listened, and shut the fuck up. Sort of.

The dinner party was amazing. Please commence yelling at me. I will stop now. It clearly is not a fluke, I may actually be good at this. MOTHER FUCKER WHY DO I NOT REALIZE THIS? 

I'm sorry. To all of you. For being such an insecure douche. I know you all love me anyway.

Moving on...

Here are the pictures you have all been waiting for. Or not waiting for. Either way.

 I opened with a play on green eggs and ham. Butter poached asparagus, salt pork lardons, white balsamic and fig reduction, and a breaded and deep fried soft cooked egg. (The idea being you cut into the egg, the yolk mixes with the vinegar and makes the dressing for the asparagus.)

The next course was sort of the vegetable course (I was going classic French courses, but just picking and choosing.) A mushroom and polenta terrine with homemade blue cheese, brocco sprouts, enoki mushrooms, and fresh thyme.

The main course was pork belly brined with fresh herbs, then slow roasted and topped with a maple gastrique and shaved Brussels sprout slaw.

The dessert was my least favorite dish. Homemade doughnuts with pistachio honey ice cream and cardamon scented caramel. The caramel seized, hence the glob sitting on top of the ice cream. Stupid caramel.

Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and I got lots of texts the next day saying how good it was. So, all in all, a success.

I will now shut the fuck up.

Friday, February 17, 2012

I know most of you don't read the site...

I chose not to participate for ridiculously shallow reasons. Also because I choose to be anonymous. Maybe a little because I forgot when the deadline was and was trying to think of a way to express myself without showing my face. Regardless. I love this. Absolutely love this

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wherein...I make no sense...and may need a hug...which will make me is hard.

I started a draft. That I wanted to post. And Blogger didn't save it. So...

Here is a summary:

I am cooking a dinner party on Saturday that I am ridiculously nervous about. Like, last night I may or may not have taken a prescription anxiety pill that was not prescribed to me. But, dude. I would have dug a hole to china via my bed if I hadn't.

I want to make this a little more of a food blog. Not over the top. Just some more recipes, photos, etc. How do you all feel about that? I have also toiled with the thought of a separate blog for food...but I want all of you to be a part of everything. Is that weird? Have I become too attached? Are you OK with me having a shrine of each of you in a closet in my guest room that I spend all of my time petting?

I can't stop laughing at how creepy that last comment was.

I talk to myself. A LOT. And the boy fell asleep next to me on the couch during my "me" time and it has been a struggle to not have an open and honest dialogue with myself. 

The key is to embrace the crazy and love it...if you think too hard, you fall into the hole.

I am going to have two recipes on the restaurant week menu this time. Maybe more. 

Mussels in a lemongrass broth.

Braised Pork Belly. (which I am cooking for this dinner party and I need to tweak if necessary.)

Speaking of reasons for anxiety meds...

It's funny because I left my old life and went to culinary school because of stress. And here I am. I guess it is just different when you love the outcome of the stress. Or I am a stress junky or some shit. 

Regardless...I am so fucking nervous. You guys. So. Fucking. Nervous. Dinner Party.

I always picture myself as a failure. Which is the opposite of most people in my industry. I get that. But insecurity breeds humility. And I guess somebody has to be that person. Ugh. Nobody likes that person.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Random Emotional Shit

I don't know what made me do it. But I went back to my Violence Unsilenced Post and read all of the comments. I promised myself that I wouldn't. I promised myself that I would just put it out there and be done. That it would be over. I spoke out. I finally told everyone everything. It was over.

And I cried. Tears just streamed down my face. Thank you to everyone who said something kind and supportive and amazing. I drank a bottle of wine and I cried. I can't even put words to what those comments meant. I really can't. 

Fuck. Thank you.

The Boy and the Holiday Which Will Not Be Named.

My card to the boy:

"A love like ours is rare and precious as a perfectly cut diamond. Intricately faceted, shimmering and dazzling, and promising to last forever. And on this most special Valentines Day, I simply have to say...

I think this card made me throw up in my mouth a little. (Sorry. I do think our love is pretty awesome, though.)"

His reaction:

I was going to say, that was a little weird. That wasn't like you at all.

I like it. Ha. I like it.

This is why we work. He may be romantic (the dinner that we weren't supposed to go on to save money... I just found out he is surprising me with dinner at an undisclosed location) but I am so completely not romantic. But food is always romantic to me. And he loves to surprise me and try to convince me that we are actually going to the Waffle House Valentines Day. I so know we aren't.

It may not be the norm. It may not be what every girl dreams of. But, it is what this girl dreams of. I so love this man.

Happy Valentines Day, baby. Even if I really, really, really hate this holiday. I do it for you.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

There is no title that will make this post anything less than terrifying.

I have a confession to make. 

I kind of want to be a hipster. DON'T STOP READING. Let me explain.

I spend a lot of time immersed in the hipster life style, because restaurant people (specifically front of the house people) are generally hipster. Also, old job should have been called "Hipsters Eat Here Everyday" because, dear God. 

I don't necessarily want to talk like them. Or think everything I do is awesome because it is so not awesome. 

But, I love the clothes! The traditionally hipster clothes. I already wear Converse every single day. Wait, is that still a hipster thing? Or is it not because now it is cool? Is it even cool?

I am terrible at this.

But, I love the layers and the ironic T-Shirts. And the slouchy hats. And I want to sit in coffee shops and drink coffee and play on my iPhone. Wait...are iPhones still hipster? I should have done more research.

HOWEVER. I don't like hipsters. They are annoyingly superior. I am not like that. In fact, I am the opposite of that. I am riddled with self doubt. Mostly in my knowledge of hipsters.

This post is slowly derailing in a very epic, giant flames, black smoke, people taking video to upload to YouTube way.

I really just want the clothes. And the lifestyle. The boy and I are planning a big move to the city. What? Yes. The city. Downtown where we walk to work. Or one of us walks to work the other drives or takes the bus or rides their bike. We also need to acquire bikes.

Who is letting me type this right now? Seriously? It's like I thought the word hipster and said BLOG POST with absolutely nothing else. Oh, wait...I saw a picture of an outfit on Pinterest. You guys, you now know my method. I DON'T HAVE ONE.

I want to live in our perfect city house and cook amazing, local, organic food and walk to the grocery store and have a garden in my yard (PEOPLE HAVE THOSE, DID YOU KNOW?) and maybe get chickens (!!!) and have this perfect little homestead in the city. I want this oh so bad. 

And, yes, I envision myself much skinnier, wearing much cooler clothes and slouchy hats and Chuck Taylors and doing fabulous things like spending the day sipping coffee in the Book Loft  while pretending to care about Chaucer. Because, let's be honest. I read a lot, but it's mostly about wizards. And dragons. That probably isn't very hipster. 

I just googled what do hipsters read and this came up. I would be a TERRIBLE hipster. I think what I just realized is that I want to live in the city and dress like a bum and be perceived as cool. But, don't worry, I will shower.

I should really just delete this post. But, I googled. Which is more effort than I normally put into blogging. Wait? Is blogging a hipster thing?

Fuck. Who lets me have a blog? Someone should really put a stop to me.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Things that are annoying me today

  1. Facebook. For the love of everything, your Facebook status is not the way to passively aggressively tell someone what you think. TELL. THEM. And I really don't care that the person you are intending this for is logging on under multiple Facebook accounts to comment on your shit. I. DON'T. CARE. Please continue your status updates about the weather and how awesome your kid is. That was much more tolerable.
  2. My hands. That I am still getting hives on. And my lack of health insurance so I can't go to an allergist to figure out WTF is wrong. Can I still cook with two stumps?
  3. Being judged for reading. I need to explain this. People often ask me what my hobbies are...well, I don't really have any. I read. A lot. Daily. For hours. I don't need anything why do people always balk when I say my only hobby is reading? I do other things. It's just the only thing that I do on a regular basis that I love. Get over it. I have been this way since I was a little girl. I prefer the imaginary world of books to the real one. 
  4. My lack of friends to play Scramble with friends with. I am hooked. Addicted. Need an intervention. Someone take over my phone. OOH! I am adding that to my hobby list. Reading and iPhone games. I am a giant tool.
  5. My legs. I am trying to start running and my legs are SO TIGHT I can't really do it. All my muscles are like back is like a rock. Always. I have to stretch it daily or I can't move. BUT there are a lot of stretches for legs that are bad for people with my kind of back injuries. I have been adding leg stretches to my routine, but holy crap. It's just not working. Can I tell you about stretching my groin muscle and having NO IDEA how good that could feel? Not in THAT way. Is it normal for muscles to be this tight? My dad is the same way. I blame genetics.
  6. Prop 8. Two people said it better than me, so I will just quote them. "The flip side of democracy is that the view of the majority cannot be used to oppress the minority. Ass Hats."  and "Prop 8 is ruled unconstitutional. Also, the sky is ruled blue; water is ruled wet." WE SHOULDN'T EVEN BE HAVING THIS CONVERSATION. See...their quotes are better.
  7. My cat trying to kill me. LOVE ME GOD DAMMIT. I am nice to him, I feed him, I provide him a lovely home, I give him cat nip and buy him ridiculous cat houses. I let him out on the deck to get fresh air. It is possible that I may force him to let me hug him. Or give him kisses. BUT I THROW THAT GOD DAMN MOUSE FOR HIM EVERY NIGHT. I love his independence, but I hate how I feel like I won the lottery every time he jumps on my lap. AND YES I WOULD LIKE SOME CHEESE WITH MY WHINE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
  8. Not having all the information. Let's not say I am nosy. Let's say I am curious. Or love information. Or something that is not me being nosy. But, I hate when people give you 1/10th of the story. I respect people's privacy, but mother fucker, I want to know what is going on. I must know. It might be a sickness. TELL ME EVERYTHING. I think this is why I like blogs so much. Everything is just out there. I also think that this is why none of my close friends have boundaries.
  9. Physical boundaries...that is a whole other story. Can we put a table between us? Awesome? How about we just have 5 drinks and sit on opposite sides of something and chat. Yeah, they think it is HI-LARIOUS that I am uncomfortable with people being close to me. Or touching me. So, today's game was "I am not touching you" where in they followed me from room to room and circled around me, inches from me, chanting "I am not touching you." And then my boss poke me in the side and say "I TOUCHED HER" and everyone would laugh hysterically. Someone made the comment "I have never seen a person's face turn that red." Also, my safe word is gang rape. Because, apparently you need safe words at my work. I work in some sort of prison playground. Sometimes I wish you could all be there with me one day and see the hilarity/torture. It is always a fine line between laughter and sobbing.
  10. Valentines Day. I'M SORRY. I hate it. I hate Hallmark holidays. If you want a day to be romantic, then do it on a random Monday. That means so much more. But, my idea of romance is someone else cooking dinner, a bottle of wine, and cuddling while watching Harry Potter. Not flowers. Ugh. Not flowers. Not candy. I will, however, take the expensive dinner. Did I mention wine?

Monday, February 6, 2012

A plea for help and a little bit about inspiration.

One of the sous chefs at work got into it with our owner (who is still crazy) and wants out. Which means there is a sous chef position that is about to open up. And, you guys, I am probably going to get it. 

Having said that, our recipes for the next Restaurant Week are due this Friday and I really want to impress. I have a list of about 50 things I have come up with, but none of them are wowing me. None of them are "this will definitely get you the sous chef job" ideas.

I don't want to put this on Facebook or twitter because, well, people I work with will see it. And know I am desperate and want that job OH SO BAD. 

So I am turning to you all...what is the best restaurant dish you have ever had? What is something you would go out of your way to go to a restaurant and eat? 

Our price point is $35 for a fixed price app, a soup or salad, a main course, and a dessert. Obviously our pastry chef handles the latter. The value of the meal is about $60. 

I know a lot of you don't comment at all and I am not going to beg anyone to comment here. I just need a few good suggestions...and being that my audience is all over the country and world, I think you all are my best hope. 
And don't worry...I am not going to steal your favorite restaurant's dish. I am looking solely for inspiration here. 

I don't know where chef's traditionally get their inspiration, but I get it from eating and talking about food. Reading food blogs, recipes, cookbooks. 

I am hosting a supper club in two weeks. One of the menu dishes I am making is a maple glazed pork belly with a shaved Brussells sprout salad. I got the inspiration from another restaurant's menu for restaurant week. They are serving a pork belly with tomato confit. Another restaurant is serving a shaved root vegetable salad. As I was looking through these menus, I thought to myself, well, shit. What is better than a fatty roasted pork belly with sweet maple syrup? What would cut through that fat nicely? The bitterness of Brussells sprouts. Dressed in a light vinaigrette. 

I am just hoping one of you inspires me like that. Just a simple dish that sparks the chain that ends in amazing food.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Just in case...

I am the only person who had no idea this website existed.

Go there. Go there now. Big Jed and I have been reading this and texting our favorites back and forth for hours. I can't stop laughing.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


When I moved into my condo, the biggest struggle was the kitchen. It is a galley kitchen with very little storage space. For a while I had a shelf next to the trash can where all my pantry goods went. But, it was dirty and messy and I hated it. So, years ago, my mom suggested I transform the front hall closet into a pantry. It is much easier to find a place to put coats (a decorative hook in the front hallway) than all my pantry goods. So, needless to say, I have a pretty large pantry. The problem is, it is hard to keep organized because it is really deep. And I can't reach the top shelf. Also, I may need a lentil intervention. 

So...I finally came up with a system that I think will work. I took pictures. Because apparently that is what I am doing this week, just posting a bunch of pictures.

 Somebody had to be involved every step of the way. Also, this is a terrible quality picture.
 Scary eyes...scary pantry.
 Spices and jars and such.

 This is preferred to the previous organizational paradigm...throw them in the corner-ish and never see them again.
My favorite label. It contains wheat germ, ingredients for making granola, spelt flour, etc.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


These are covering the walls of the building my restaurant is in. I find them amazingly beautiful and a huge part of the neighborhood we are in. It was sixty degrees outside today, so while running the trash to the dumpster (which had a weave hanging from it???) I decided to snap some pictures with my phone. What do you think?

The last one is my favorite. I love the eyes all over the door. It is kind of a crappy picture, though, because of that damn tree. Which, got hit by a car two days ago. So, maybe I should have some sympathy for the tree.